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Archive for May, 2009

Post-race medal. Oh yeah, that's real aluminum.

Post-race medal. Oh yeah, that's real aluminum.

It turns out I was ready to run this thing. I matched my best time for a half, and I got to see a little of Timonium … I think. It may have been Lutherville. Wherever I was, it was a pleasant 13.1 miles.

I arrived a little late and compounded my tardiness when I hit a long line of cars waiting to park at the Fairgrounds. And my Garmin GPS watch crapped out this morning before the race, so I was forced to do this thing low-tech.

I found a nice piece of concrete right up at the starting line. You know, right behind the 20-year-old servicemen with crew cuts. Those guys seem to be at every race, and apparently they find shirts really uncool.

Anyway, Governor O’Malley said a thing or two and fired off the air-horn.

There were lots of rolling hills; and being an Atlanta native, I’m partial to courses under a canopy of trees. The moderate turnout really allowed for some PR miles, as well. The proceeds went to cancer research, and having lost my mother to the “C” word ten years ago, I was more than willing to pay the inflated registration fee.

But … you knew it was coming … I had a few problems with the race’s organization.

The traffic control sucked. The course meandered through residential neighborhoods; meaning, people were heading to church etc., and that required the use of their cars. I was running along … minding my own, and a RAV4 nearly sideswiped me. This happened more than once.

A bit disconcerting.

Here’s my second beef, and no, it’s not the beautiful medallion you see pictured above. (SNARK alert!) I plan to wear THAT to work for a few weeks — on top of my shirt for the first five days, then underneath the following weeks. It’s all about modesty, people.

Back to my second complaint. I know there was something symbolic about wrapping up the race at the Maryland State Fairgrounds’ (horse) race track, but running on sand blows. Especially, for that half mile at the end when surging feels appropriate. Running on sand may be all right for those Chariots of Fire guys … but it’s not all right for me.

Overall, though — good race, good weather, good time, goodbye.

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I’m running the Maryland half tomorrow at the crack of dawnish. I’m not ready for it, folks. Sure, I’ll finish; my time is not going to be pretty, though. What are you gonna do? It is what it is. Follow those with a few more cop out lines, and let’s pound some pavement.

I’ll let you know how it went.

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Where are they now?

It’s a question we ask ourselves more often than we think. Television shows deal with the topic ubiquitously: I’m talking about “Whatever happened to (insert name)? ”

How many times a day do you ponder the whereabouts of that kid who stole your Skeletor action figure in the second grade, or that girl you were forced to square dance with who smelled like strawberries?

And of course, the Whil Weaton-y dude who played Atreyu (I speak not of the metalcore band, whatever metalcore is) in The Neverending Story?; I’m talking about the 1984 cinematic gem with the flying cotton-candy, duck-dog thingy, Falcor.

FalcorIncidently, I think Falcor OD’d in the early 90s. R.I.P.

NoahHathaway04Turns out Atreyu’s a tattoo enthusiast and parlor operator in L dot A dot … Seems he has a fondness for highlights to boot. Yikes! I kind of wish the guy had been eaten by “The Nothing” at the end of the movie, now.

So, next time the where-are-they-now bug buries itself in your head; resist the search engine urge. You’re just going to be disappointed … like Falcor … or is it Falcore?

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pukeI saw an episode of Party of Five where the short guy (the one who ranked just under the Lost dude in the no-parent pecking order) tried to run track after a night of crazy partying and puked in some bushes.

Hilarious … and lessony. College isn’t about partying. It’s about … running?

Some elites consider a post-race ralph session par for the course, however. I’ve heard of rock stars who can’t go on stage without going through this less-than-pleasant ritual.

Take Morocco’s Asmae Leghzaoui. She’s won the Ottawa Marathon two years in a row, now. Probably hurled last year, too. There just wasn’t a photog there to catch her … uhh … celebrating in ’08.

Easy on the Gatorade, Asmae.

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Missing link found

missing-link-found_bigHere’s Ida, the “missing link” — straight outta Germany. This discovery has media folks all hot and weird. It’ll probably continue to excite human origins enthusiasts for years to come. That is, until the next “missing link” is found. Then, Ida’s old news. Sorry, lady.

Frankly, I’m a little disappointed. I know finding anything that fills that scary gap in the fossil record is great news, but I really wanted to see some kind of monkey thing doing something distinctly human ( in a fossilized state, of course) … like giving a thumbs up … Fonzie style.

I know — not about running, but I think about other things, too.

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bucketRecently, Runner’s World ran a poll/article that dealt with bucket lists; specifically, running a marathon before one kicks the proverbial aforementioned. Readers were less than thrilled with the piece. I was less than thrilled with the silly movie of similar premise starring Jack Nicholson.

The expression: “to kick the bucket,” can be traced back to Shakespeare. Like so many seemingly nonsensical “euphemisms,” which is coincidentally defined as: “a substitution of an agreeable or less offensive expression in place of one that may offend or suggest something unpleasant to the listener,” this one is graphic and unnecessary as a substitution.

This is from Henry IV Part II, 1597:

“Swifter then he that gibbets on the Brewers Bucket.”

Gibbet means to hang, BTW.

The wooden frame that was used to hang animals up by their feet for slaughter was called a bucket. It makes sense they were likely to spasm or kick after death; hence “kick the bucket.”

Cute or no?

So, I guess my real beef with that poll/article has nothing to do with the article’s implication. Don’t really care about that, actually. I’m just not into the headline: “bucket list.”

Whatever happened to, “things I want to do before I die?”

Or is that too wordy?

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Party liners

I’ve been looking back through some of my older posts, and I’ve noticed a healthy number of embarrassing flubs in the sometimes syrupy writing I try to pass off.

fallingGrace is not my thing. I trip … a lot. I trip over my words. I trip all over these blog posts. I’m sure you recall a misstep or two. I also trip while I’m running … and then, keep running in the hopes that the motorists who saw me stumble might think my bust was part of a complex cross-training regimen involving rolling my ankle every couple hundred yards. All the elites are doing it.

Perfect example:

I was grocery shopping with my wife the other day and checking things off the list as we threw them in the cart. I got to an unfamiliar item and yelled:

“What are party liners?”

She shushed me and we fled from that aisle.

We never did get any “party liners.” They sound pretty awesome, though.

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